Victoria University secures international conference

Victoria University of Wellington has won a bid to host international linguistics conference iMean6 (Interaction and Meaning) in 2019, the first time the conference will be held outside the United Kingdom.

Associate Professor Meredith Marra from Victoria’s School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies says the conference will give Victoria international exposure and recognition for its excellence in the linguistics field.

She says Victoria’s internationally-regarded Language in the Workplace Project was a strong drawcard for winning the bid.

“The conference’s focus on communication in the workplace made Victoria an obvious choice. The research that we undertake for the Language in the Workplace Project provides powerful, relevant insights into the ways that New Zealanders use language on the job. We conduct research that has real-world application. We have collaborated with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to create evidence-based online resources and our teaching materials are downloaded and used around the world.

“Bringing the iMean conference to Wellington will give it a new perspective. We’re looking forward to welcoming back Victoria alumni who are working around the world, as well as bringing linguistics colleagues from the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia to New Zealand.”

Associate Professor Marra worked with Tourism New Zealand and Business Events Wellington—a division of Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA)—on the bid, as part of an initiative to bring more international conferences to New Zealand.

“The group did a fantastic job promoting Wellington as the ideal destination and gained the confidence of the conference organisers to hold it outside the United Kingdom for the first time,” says Lisa Gardiner, Business Events Manager, Tourism New Zealand.

“We have been working really closely with Victoria University for several years, advising them on the support they can receive and the benefits of bidding on international conferences,” says Jessica Beyeler from Business Events Wellington.

“Securing an international conference such as iMean will boost the profile of the University’s academics and its international standing, which in turn will attract international PhD students and showcase Wellington’s intellectual capital.”

The conference will be hosted at Victoria’s Pipitea Campus in 2019 and is expected to bring 250 international delegates to Wellington.